Public Criticism in Jordan leads to Arbitrary Detentions
Authorities in Jordan have stepped up arrests of writers and activists over their public views and their opinions critical of the government in contravention with the Jordanian constitution and the international treaties, stirring condemnation from Skyline.
The Stockholm-based International foundation has testimonies indicating that the Jordanian authorities have arrested Wasfi Al-Da'jah, a writer working in "Sawaleif," a local website online since June 9. According to the testimonies, "Al-Da'jah" has been arrested for sharing anti-corruption posts and articles on social media. He also has special needs and suffers from cancer.
The Jordanian authorities have not yet justified the arrest of Al-Da'jah, who was not brought to court within 12 days of his arrest as it is stipulated by law. His relatives also do not know his whereabouts and the charges against him.
In a similar case, Jordanian authorities arrested at the end of May, the writer, academic and activist, Mohamed Turki Bani Salama, because he wrote a post on his Facebook profile criticizing some government appointments.
Skyline International Foundation considers such arrests inconsistent with the Jordanian constitution. Article (15) states that "the state guarantees freedom of opinion, and that every Jordanian can express his opinion freely in the form of speech, writing, photography or any other means of expression, provided that it does not go beyond the limits of the law."
Moreover, Skyline states that the Jordanian Code of Criminal Procedure regulates the correct detention procedures, and without his lawyer's presence and an official citation, the detention is unlawful. This procedure also includes notifying the person before his arrest and signing a written record in the presence of his lawyers.
The Jordanian authorities have continually denied that they have prisoners of conscience. Also, they argue that these detainees are under arrest due to other charges, often related to the security of the state. Nevertheless, these charges are based on false or alleged accusations, and they are fundamentally inconsistent with the principles of public freedoms and freedom of opinion.
Skyline emphasizes that any detention on opinion grounds is inconsistent with international human rights conventions that guarantee the freedom to hold opinions without harassment, and the right to express them by various means.
For all the above, Skyline calls on the Jordanian authorities to immediately release the two writers Al-Da'jah and Bani Salama and all prisoners of conscience detained in Jordanian prisons.